Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Swine Flu Goodness: Masks Don't Protect

As pointed out so expertly on, those paper masks you see people wearing about town in Mexico City and other places where the swine flu has broken out do not protect against the swine flu or other airborne diseases as is widely assumed.

The newscasts often show them in that context, and that could be a dangerous piece of subconscious information.

The masks are worn by surgeons in order to prevent themselves from transmitting their own germs to their patients but not to avoid the germs of their patients.

Yet the assumption among the swine flu-fearing citizens of North America is that these paper-thin masks will somehow protect them from germs when in reality they aren't helping much at all. Germs can still easily get through the small holes in the masks.

Some people might get a false sense of security wearing these masks for the swine flu and put themselves into potentially harmful situations they otherwise wouldn't, so it's important that the media as well as people around the world spread the word that these masks don't really protect people from swine flu.

The FDA has said as much even though they usually aren't the most trustworthy source. You'll need a full-fledged, tight gas mask in order to truly protect yourself against the swine flu.

But for now, lay low and focus on keeping your immune system strong as we wait for this swine flu "pandemic" to pass.